Battle of Antietam
The Battle of Antietam was an important point in the Civil War of the United States. Paper Masters has history writers that can explain to you exactly why the battle was important in a custom research paper.
Why was the Battle of Antietam important?
- The Battle of Antietam marked a turning point in the U.S. Civil War.
- Also known as the Battle of Sharpsburg, the conflict took place on September 17, 1862, near the town of Sharpsburg, Maryland, along the Antietam Creek.
- The Battle of Antietam remains the bloodiest single-day battle in all of American history
- There were over 22,000 casualties.
- As a desperately needed Union victory, it allowed Abraham Lincoln to issue the Emancipation Proclamation.
Battle of Antietam and Lee
In early September 1862, Robert E. Lee led his Army of Northern Virginia into Maryland, his first invasion of the North. As Union commander George B. McClellan raced to intercept Lee, two Union soldiers discovered a copy of Lee's battle plan, wrapped around three cigars. However, McClellan waited too long to take advantage of this opportunity, which could have resulted in a decisive defeat of Lee's forces.
Lee deployed his army behind Antietam Creek, a strong defensive position in the Civil War. Union forces began arriving on September 15, but again McClellan hesitated, and delayed attacking until the 17th. McClellan also failed to issue a complete battle plan, so that Antietam unfolded as three separate and uncoordinated battles. Morning fighting raged around the Dunker Church. Midday fighting centered on what became known as Bloody Lane, which resulted in massive Confederate casualties. The late afternoon battle centered on the Antietam Creek Bridge, which became known as Burnside's Bridge. The next day, McClellan declined to pursue the retreating Lee, allowing Confederate forces to slip back into Virginia and prolong the war.